Last week I was inspired by a post from fellow blogger Leanne Cole, to pick up my tripod and head to the beach to take long exposure images of the sea. I did just that this past Saturday at Coney Island.
Although early March, there was still a thick layer of fresh snow blanketing the sidewalk, boardwalk and beach and a wonderful flat span of ice in the snow that made for a fun make shift skating rink. It was cold but, nowhere near freezing temperatures that we have been having these past few months, one of the most bitter winters I’ve experience in a long time.
Despite the wintertime temperatures many people were out enjoying the sun and walking, running and playing on the beach as if it were a warm summer day. I came upon an elderly Russian man who walked into the middle of a huge flock of seagulls and dropped a large black plastic bag of bread to feed his feather friends. As he started to toss the bread in the air the birds went insane screaming, shrieking and swirling around this man, who in turn started shrieking at me when he saw my lens pointed in his direction. Since he was screaming in Russian I had no way of knowing what he was saying and it did not stop me from taking a few shots. I kept my distance though, in case I was pegged in the head by a loaf of Italian bread.
After that fun little incident I walked toward the newly restored Steeple Chase Fishing Pier. I set up the tripod and began to photograph the waves as they ran up the shore and slowly slid back to sea, including any reflections that were not washed away. Under the pier facing the sea through a tunnel of barnacle and ice encrusted pillars I zoomed in to create a square vortex. I slowed the shutter speed down and waited for a wave to curl and smack against those same pillars, and pressed the shutter creating a smokey green rising mist.
I walked over to a jetty and captured the water as it swirled and turned milky blue around the giant rocks but, after a few more shots, I was bored. Other than the pier and rocks there wasn’t anything interesting to shoot. I had to get creative. Inside my little pack of filters was a sepia filter that I hadn’t use in quite sometime. I put it on the lens and saw the beach in a different light, indeed. I took a few shots of the rocks and noticed a soft glowing blur, obviously the filter needed cleaning but, then again I liked the effect and left it as it was.
I loved the golden yellow it imparted on the muscles that clung to the rocks and coppery sheen to the water when I shot into the sun. Everything developed an aged look even the ice as I captured the last of it frosting the rocks. Two of the ice formations I named Shark Bite and Walrus, as you’ll see why when viewing the images below.
Late afternoon was turning into early evening as the sun started its slow decent into night. I hiked back up toward the entrance of the pier through deep snow and sand to wander above the Atlantic Ocean and shoot the beautiful expansive views, of this urban peninsula, as the sun’s fading light gradually changed the color of the landscape before me.
Walking back toward the train station, the sky grew deeper, more vivid until a line of bright yellow appeared, like a spark igniting the clouds which then burst into flaming color.
Enjoy the warmth of sky fire.